Glass Pipes: Does Quality Really Matter?
As an inexperienced smoker, you’ve probably gotten a little overwhelmed at the crazy selection of bongs, hand pipes, dab rigs and other smoke accessories in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices to choose from. You may have tried starting out going through a few cheap pieces and shattered a couple in the middle of a session with your friends. Sometimes, you might learn the hard way - you get what you pay for. When it comes to smoking accessories, cheaper products tend to be more costly long term requiring more frequent replacements, more maintenance, less durable, etc. Of course there are always exceptions, but for glass pipes you will definitely want to invest in a quality one. Yes, the initial cost will probably leave you feeling a built guilty or have buyers remorse, but you will leave the store with a much higher quality product that will last significantly longer in which you will see, feel, and taste the difference. Today we’re going to dive into what to look for in a quality piece to help you make the perfect choice.
Where was it made?
Typically, imported glass pieces will be less expensive than glass pieces made in the US. However, if you compare the pieces, you will notice a huge difference in quality. Imported glass pipes are often inferior in quality and careful craftsmanship of american-made glass. Yes, you may find a poorly made American pipe and a high-quality imported pipe, you can trust that we have been in this industry and have gained enough experience to know the difference in who to trust when it comes to getting consistent quality. Glasswork is treated as an art in the US. Our customer-favorite Thick Dichro Rasta Swirls Pipes are uniquely constructed and created with close attention to detail in the intricate rastafarian swirls that will not fail to leave you mesmerized. You can find that most of our products come from American artists with the occasional imported pieces but you can trust all imported pieces were properly inspected before tying our name to it.
What type of glass?
Another indication of a quality pipe is what type of glass it is made of. The most durable types of glass for making pipes are made of borosilicate and quartz. What’s so special about these types of glass? Borosilicate and quartz are able to withstand high levels of heat and do not affect the taste of smoke during usage. Unfortunately, not all types of glass are able to handle a lot of heat, such as soda lime, the original glass type. Soda lime glass has been around for thousands of years and is the most commonly used type of glass that can be found in your windows, lighting, bottles and glasses but should be avoided when it comes to glass pipes. Borosilicate and quartz also contain pure or high content of silica - the main ingredient required to make glass. Quartz is made of pure silica and is considered pretty expensive so they are usually found in smaller hand pipes. Borosilicate glass was actually specifically engineered to tolerate more heat than soda lime. If you are ever unsure, don’t hesitate to ask us or your vendor what glass your smoke accessories are made of before making a purchasing decision.
How thick is your glass?
Another sign you have a quality pipe is glass thickness. High-grade pieces will contain uniform thickness throughout the entire piece with the exception of additional artwork where the glass will be slightly thicker. Thinner glass spots will be more susceptible to breakage or cracking if ever dropped, knocked over, or treated with carelessness. If you want to be extra careful, you can always buy a pipe pouch as a protective carrying case that has a soft cushion exterior and a hard protective exterior for your piece to travel in. A major concern regarding thickness for pipes is at the joint. The joints are a part of pipes that are the easiest to break and the usual cause of replacements. Avoid getting pipes that have thin, loose, or extra rough joints when choosing a new glass pipe to save some money later down the line.
Are there imperfections?
Handmade pieces are unique and usually contain slight imperfections that are considered normal. However, certain imperfections such as scratches can be more inclined to cause breaking and should be a deal-breaker for interested buyers. The more amount of scratches on a piece, the higher of a chance the job was rushed and thus lesser the quality of the finished product. Usually you will not find pipes with too many scratches on a store shelf because artists will throw out pipes that wind up with too many scratches during construction. Another red flag to keep a lookout for are bubbles. More often than not, bubbles will show up when pieces of glass were welded together or in the joint. A couple little bubbles won’t hurt you, but big bubbles or pipes with lots of bubbles will weaken the glass and hurt its overall durability.
If you are trying to decide on a new piece to try, quality should be the number one factor in your decision-making. These are definitely one of the cases you get what you pay for, so invest in a good one. Things you should consider when choosing your next glass pipe should include where it was made, type and thickness of glass and quality. No, you don’t have to be over-critical and whip out a microscope to tally up the scratches or count the bubbles on a pipe but generally, the less imperfections the better. Well-made pieces will be much sturdier, give you more uses, enjoyment and saves you money in the end. Hope this helped narrow down some options for you. Good luck, and happy smoking!